As more roleplayers enter the digital goods and services arena, it becomes important to revisit your value-added services (VAS) strategy to ensure your business is running as efficiently as possible. Different processing models offer varying benefits and choosing the right technology partner is vital.

Banks and retailers are optimising their digital goods and services marketplaces, expanding their portfolios, and offering increasingly streamlined services. A robust processing strategy is becoming crucial as your competitors’ marketplaces are maturing. Electrum’s Saas Digital Goods and Services Platform offers flexibility through a multi-provider model – but what does that mean for your business?

Aggregators are wholesalers of value-added services (VAS). They buy digital goods and services from providers (mobile network operators, municipalities, Eskom, etc.) and sell them to VAS retailers (supermarket chains, banks). They have direct relationships with the providers and can negotiate favourable commercial terms because of their bulk buying power.

In contrast to aggregators, platforms facilitate direct connections to providers as well as to multiple aggregators for the VAS retailers.

As a VAS technology partner and platform, Electrum enables the multi-provider model for your business. This gives you the opportunity to leverage a combination of aggregators and direct commercial agreements and offer your customers the best VAS purchasing experience.

Control over your commercial agreements

One important distinction is that, unlike aggregators, a platform like Electrum’s Digital Goods and Services offering does not disintermediate your commercial relationship with providers.

When a business integrates with a single aggregator, your VAS pricing remains tied to the ability of the aggregator to negotiate commercial agreements. A neutral technology partner, such as Electrum, connects you to multiple aggregators and service providers without influencing the commercials, ultimately giving you control over your digital goods and services marketplace:

  • Electrum has no bilateral relationships with any service providers;  you decide which service providers to use and how to utilise them.
  • The independence of the multi-provider model opens up your access to any and all service providers, increasing your negotiating power.
  • You have the ability to preferentially route transaction traffic and choose which service provider to use – resulting in the best commercial options on all products.
  • You can turn providers on and off as required.

The power of a multi-provider model

Platforms give businesses access to multiple aggregators and providers through a single streamlined system, fronted by user-friendly tools. This means that the solution can offer powerful functionality to fit your business’ bespoke VAS needs.

  • An always-on offering: With an aggregator, your service uptime will be dependent on the uptime of that single aggregator. Electrum’s Platform allows failover to other aggregators or providers to ensure your service is always available when other service providers are offline.
  • Broad product coverage and ultimate choice for your customers: With VAS products such as prepaid electricity, a multi-provider model means that you can offer coverage of all municipalities through Electrum’s integrations with various service providers. As a result, you are offering your customers the best possible service and widest choice when buying electricity.
  • Reduced risk when it comes to tenders and service provider agreements: Tender agreements are notoriously unpredictable, and with multiple aggregators, you mitigate the risk of losing coverage when a tender contract changes or ends.

Read more about Electrum’s preferential routing functionality.

Easy transaction management and visibility

VAS technology partners manage all of the transactions that flow through the platform to create operational efficiencies for customers. This includes tools that give you a single view of the full transaction lifecycle, allowing you to easily troubleshoot and investigate failed transactions.

When it comes to having agreements with multiple service providers, huge strain can be placed on your finance team when it comes to calculating fees and commissions. Technology partners  that can offer efficient reconciliation and settlement functionality, such as Electrum’s BackOffice tool, will save your team time and streamline your processes.

We believe that Electrum’s multiple provider model can offer you the control and reliability that your business needs to build a standout digital marketplace offering. We would love to chat with you to explore the best solution for your business, so contact us today.

Helen Whelan

Helen Whelan

Helen Whelan is a Content Writer at Electrum. With a Bsc (Hons) from Rhodes University, she enjoys the combination of creativity and technical topics that content creation at Electrum involves. Cats and coffee fuel her day.